Do you only play with new balls?

Discussion in 'Odds & Ends' started by codagalie, Jul 5, 2013.

  1. codagalie

    codagalie New User

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    Hi,

    I am just curious about this, and would like to hear from you guys what you think.

    I'm not really picky about balls. I will play with any used balls, whatever I have available in my bag. Sometimes only used once, sometimes 10 times or more. The few times I bought new balls were to please other players, but not really for myself. Yes, I'm cheap.

    However, I've noticed a lot of people are "ball snobs". By using this term, I don't mean to offend anybody here. It's your business whatever you like to do with your money. It's just that some people only like to play with new balls. And if they are playing with used balls, when they are losing, they will blame it on the balls. Which doesn't make sense, because we are both playing with the SAME balls.

    I think these people, when they have to play with used ones, they don't do as well, because they are so used to playing with new balls. And to people who are not as picky, it makes no difference.

    Sure, new balls got a nice bounce to it, but I think one can play well with older balls too. It's all in the mind.

    What do you think? Do you only play with new balls? Why? Or are you like me, who just wants to play, no matter the ball condition?

    For the record, I am a league player, and have been playing for 6 years, I'm a 4.0/4.5 borderline (female).
     
    #1
  2. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Male high 3.5 player, used to play A/Opens 30+ years ago. I"m old.
    "Play". That is the operative word.
    Pick up doubles with friends, any decent ball.
    Practice sessions, mostly hitting, any decent ball.
    "IT COUNTS" matches, only new balls.
    Practice matches, any decent balls.
    Most weak hitters bring dead balls.
    Lots of big hitters bring really lively Wilson balls.
    Average hitter like me brings new DunlopHDHardCourts, the heaviest and hardest balls.
     
    #2
  3. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I use a ball compressor and reuse my balls many times
     
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  4. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    :)
    I hope you're not one of those guys with a ball compressor, visor, elbow and knee braces, sweatband, the full tennis kit, and rally all the time....:)
     
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  5. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    Only use new balls for matches. Used balls for practice, microwave them to add pressure.
     
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  6. goober

    goober Legend

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    Practice- used balls

    Practice matches- usually new. Usually will rotate turns as to who has to bring the new cans for doubles. In singles sometimes will use old balls

    League matches- new balls required.
     
    #6
  7. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    ball compressor: yes
    visor: yes
    no to all the others
     
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  8. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Just wondering, thanks.
    LOTS of guys with my description beat me, so it's not a generalization I was after, but rather an image.
     
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  9. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    For matches I only use new balls. I rarely practice.
     
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  10. codagalie

    codagalie New User

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    Ha ha. Microwaving, that's a good idea, however don't they go bad again after half an hour? Do you bring a microwave to the court with you ? =)
     
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  11. codagalie

    codagalie New User

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    Suresh, I like your ball compressor idea. BF tried to build one before, but failed at it (it leaked), maybe will go back to that again.
     
    #11
  12. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    It is available. Search for Tennis Ball Saver.
     
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  13. Lukhas

    Lukhas Legend

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    Any decent ball will do. Better to have new balls for matches though. On the other hand, I don't like pressurised balls after it was opened up, since they deflate really fast. Guess there's still Tretorn Micro X for the indestructible kind. Never tried, often mentioned for practising.
     
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  14. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I"ve noticed a lot of weaker hitting players like to bring opened balls to the courts, well fuzzed, but kinda soft.
    I get that from old farts also.
    Big hitters seem to bring new balls. Most seem to use Penns. Very few like the Wilson balls, because they fly too far, fast, and high, making for short rallies.
    I usually bring a new can of DunlopHDHardCourtChamps. They seem to fly a little slower than Penns and Wilsons, are heavier and when new, a little knappier, and can sustain a long rally a lot of times. Did I just describe myself as an old fart who's weak hitting?
     
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  15. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    Used regular-duty Wilsons yesterday. They are light, fast, and bounce high.
     
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  16. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Problem with Wilson regular balls is that dumb guys like me THINK they can hit serves up to 120 mph with them, on hot days, of course. Hot to me is 70 degrees. Of course, I cannot hit anywhere near 120 for real, but the balls bounce so high at the backboard that I think/wish/hope I can serve like in my youth.
    For me, normal bounce height on flat first serves with Dunlops are maybe 28-36" high, while using Wilson's, they always bounce 36-46" high at the backboard.
    Yes, I KNOW my first serves poke in only around 100.
     
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  17. Avles

    Avles Hall of Fame

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    Sure you can play well with old balls-- in fact, I probably play better with them as I'm far from a big hitter.

    But I don't want to get spoiled by playing with old balls all the time and then have trouble dealing with incoming pace and higher bounces when playing with new balls. And it's not really fair to a bigger-hitting opponent to play with old balls so I'd never attempt to use them in a match.

    Plus I find it's just more fun to play with livelier balls, and I'm playing tennis for fun. I'm a very cheap guy in general but I've realized that paying an extra couple bucks to always play with new balls is well worth it to me.
     
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  18. S&V Specialist

    S&V Specialist Rookie

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    I only use new balls, unless I am giving a lesson one of my neighbors kids (I used pressureless balls for lessons). Reason being that the people I play with are very skilled and we usually shred through the felt within 12 games. When rallying or practicing, the felt goes even quicker.
     
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  19. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    What about playing poker with a used deck? I've played in the same poker group for over two decades and even in this social game it's customary to have two unopened decks when you host the game. We're all good friends. Do we really think a guy who brings out two used decks (as has happened very infrequently when someone "forgets" to buy new decks) is doing so because he's marked the cards? I don't think so, yet everyone is queasy when used cards are presented.
     
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  20. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    We are all over 50 playing dubs with sore joints. Light, lively, regular duty balls please everyone. And their joints
     
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  21. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Not that old yet but I agree on the balls. Hate playing with those extra duty balls on hard courts!
     
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  22. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

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    Used balls for practice. Not overly used. Balls from recent matches. New balls for matches. If the matches go overly long, then we might open a new can. I like new balls. Nice and zippy. Keep you on your toes. :)
     
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  23. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

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    I usually use Penn extra duty felt balls on hard courts. What don't you like about them? Why do you like regular duty felt balls on hard courts better? I never use regular duty felt balls. They seem to lose their ooomph much sooner than the extra duty balls.

    I should add that I'm relatively inexperienced. So am willing to seriously consider anything anybody has to say about their experience with any balls.
     
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  24. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    Unless a ball is completely dead I can play with any ball, but I prefer new or next to new balls.

    Right now I mostly play with orange balls because I play every day with my son who is almost 6. :)
     
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  25. Steady Eddy

    Steady Eddy Hall of Fame

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    If you're at all serious about your tennis, you should play with new balls. Adjusting to flatter balls can mess up your timing, and new balls are what's used in tournaments.

    This might surprise some, but I think it's better to borrow another player's racquet than to screw up your timing by hitting flat balls. It's worth the $2.
     
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  26. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    I never understood this argument.

    You decide when and how to strike when the balls comes up right?

    I mean the bounce is never fixed anyway as it depends on the spin and the surface as well.
     
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  27. Steady Eddy

    Steady Eddy Hall of Fame

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    ^^It's really apparent on moonballs or lobs that you let bounce. If you're playing with flat balls you're not used to, you'll be too far back. When you get used to that, next time the fresh balls will bounce over your head.

    This isn't to say that you don't need to keep your eye on the ball, you do. But it feels speeded up when the balls are fresh, so using old balls might be worse for your game than not practicing at all. That's probably why at the highest levels they replace the balls after something like every 11 games.

    To those players, the balls are already a bit flat after about one set.
     
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  28. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    Oh well, I suppose then players should not change surface because it messes up their timing.

    Sometimes I play mixed balls with my wife and 5 year old son, he likes orange balls but he does not mind playing with a 'real' ball sometimes. So we use a mixed bag of balls during our rallies. :)

    I seem to have no trouble timing with one or the other, and for him it is a great surprise. Good thing, I think, because he should learn to time his shots after the balls bounces up as well.
     
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  29. Steady Eddy

    Steady Eddy Hall of Fame

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    ^^For what it's worth, you certainly do have players who specialize in one surface.
     
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  30. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    I realize that you are supposed to use extra duty on hard courts and that is what you will receive if you sign up for a hard court USTA tournament. The balls have heavier felt so they are slower and spin has a lesser effect on the ball.
     
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  31. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    If you're American count yourself lucky... in Australia a 3-ball can costs about AU$14 (US$12.70). Imagine forking over that much every time you needed new balls.
     
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  32. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    This happened both last and this week. New ball is shanked into weeds. Instead of looking for the ball, another new can is opened. New Ball bounces on roof. Instead of getting it, another new can is opened. Lucky balls are less than $2/can but we were using Pro Penns.
     
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  33. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    Wow that is excessive.

    Any reason why, are there perhaps high import tariffs on tennis balls in Australia?
     
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  34. Avles

    Avles Hall of Fame

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    ooog...prices like that would change my ball philosophy immediately. I'd probably just use pressureless and hope not to lose too many..
     
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  35. hrstrat57

    hrstrat57 Hall of Fame

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    If keeping score, new balls. Drills, practice - recently used balls.

    I am a ball snob tho, ATP tour, us open, Grand Prix, prince tour only for me.
     
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  36. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    Where do you find Prince Tour balls?
     
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  37. hrstrat57

    hrstrat57 Hall of Fame

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    I haven't found them Ronaldo, not for a long time. Last couple cases have been Penn ATP tour bought via TW. Real good high end balls IMO.

    Still have a few Prince Tours in my serve ball hopper tho....they still bounce and play like the day they were born.

    Anyone can find a place to get a case please....?
     
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  38. hrstrat57

    hrstrat57 Hall of Fame

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    When premium balls are not avail for this tennis ball snob I find Prince regular felt (red label) play great, much better than the extra duty black lettered balls.

    YMMV if course but I think Penn clay court balls are pretty good.....
     
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  39. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Not sure how ANYONE can play with regular duty Wilson balls in cement courts.
    The serves would BOOM in at 110+ mph every first serve.
    The bounces of the second serves would go over a 6' person's head at the baseline.
    The rallies would last less than 4 shots, and that's an EXTENDED rally.
    And first flat serves would all bounce about 48" high at the backboard, and sometimes HIT the returner in the sternum on body shots.
    Using those balls would make a server feel like CONAN the BARBARIAN on a tennis court.
     
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  40. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    Use red Penn clay courts the most but used the ATP balls a handful of times this year. Guys complained they are too heavy. Fine with me, as good as the Pro Penns. Btw, they don't like Pro Penns either.
     
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  41. badkitty

    badkitty Rookie

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    I always use new or relatively new balls and a similar model that you are likely find in use at a local tennis tournament. When I use flat balls in practice, I tend to over hit when using new balls in matches, so fresh balls for practice.
     
    #41
  42. max pl

    max pl Rookie

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    i change balls every 5 to 6 hours of play, which equates to 1 to 1.5 hours a day 2 or 3 days a week. so roughly every two weeks.

    lately we've been even more aggressive with our play so we may start changing them once a week.
    its not really that costly since we only use 2 cans. and i just bought a case of penn atp for $50 so thats like $2 a can.

    what i dont understand are the people who buy a case or a bunch of individual cans, and open them all at once and play for a months using the same dead balls.
    then again, those people dont really know what theyre doing so i cant blame.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2013
    #42
  43. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    There are no import tariffs on balls to Australia. The companies that bring them in have tight arrangements with the brands who make them so no-one else can bring them in - they just rack up the prices to insane levels. In many shops 3-ball cans are now AU$15 or even $15.50.
     
    #43
  44. lightthestorm

    lightthestorm Rookie

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    For matches, sure. We get handed out new balls in high school and tournaments.

    But drilling and just hitting, it's pretty flat. My coach uses used balls in ball machine and coaching and it works out fine.
     
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  45. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    I may be mistaken but I don't think Australia has any laws that prevents grey market products to be imported or sold. All the brands can do is refuse guarantee on their products.

    Actually I checked an online Australian websites (won't name them but there is one that has a similar name as this website except for the dash - perhaps they are related) and the prices are not that bad. In fact a box of Wilsons will cost you AU$ 1.53 per ball, that's not bad at all.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2013
    #45
  46. Tamiya

    Tamiya Semi-Pro

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    might be going to the wrong shops, where r u?

    In melb I never pay more than A$10 for any bigbrand 3 or 4 ball can,
    you can find 3pk of 3 ball Wilson AOs or USOs for $15ish @ BigW.

    Most I ever paid was $15 for 1 4ball tube of Tretorn Micro X.
     
    #46
  47. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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    i prefer to use old balls. too much waste with new ones
     
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  48. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    They may not have parallel import laws but Wilson (for example) wont supply anyone other than their official importer/agent and, overseas, retailers are bound by agreement not to export balls internationally (I have tried and only been successful a few times) so the supply is lacking even if the channels are open.
     
    #48
  49. Steady Eddy

    Steady Eddy Hall of Fame

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    Tournaments are held on all sorts of surfaces, but they always use new balls. There's no trophy for being the 'flat ball' champion.
     
    #49
  50. SwankPeRFection

    SwankPeRFection Hall of Fame

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    If the balls were used for one match, they're probably still ok to hit with, but not really play a match with unless you absolutely have no other balls. (yes, a social match) However, almost 100% of the time, we open a can. $2.18 isn't exactly that much. Bowling is more expensive than tennis when you think about it really.


    Also, I'd like to point out the obvious... Nobody likes to play with old balls. :p ;)
     
    #50

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